Georgetown news — October 2012

Council denies rezoning request for Wolf Ranch North development

City Council members voted Sept. 25 to deny a rezoning application for the proposed Wolf Ranch North development that would be located at the northwest corner of Simon Road and West University Avenue.

The developer had proposed a planned unit development for the site, which could have included five commercial lots. The proposal included a possible Firestone tire shop and other retail that would continue the design and feel of the Wolf Ranch Town Center. However, the site's proximity to a cemetery caused concerns.

The Planning and Zoning Commission denied the application with a 4-3 vote at the commission's May 15 meeting.

Airport business analysis planned

City Council approved at its Sept. 11 meeting $100,000 to complete a Georgetown Municipal Airport Business Case Analysis that will assess and provide recommendations to create a financially sustainable airport.

City staff identified capital maintenance and operational needs that would cause the Airport Fund to have a negative fund balance by the end of fiscal year 2013, leading officials to request the study, according to city documents.

An additional $15,000 will be used to review legal documents and analyze lease agreements and rate structures.

Budget, tax rate approved

Final approval of the 2012–13 property tax rate and budget were approved Sept. 25. The 41 cents per $100 valuation tax rate was approved with a 4-3 vote. The budget was approved 6-1. Councilman Tommy Gonzalez was the dissenting vote.

Council opts to defer residential neighborhood mosquito spraying

Georgetown City Council voted against spraying for mosquitoes in city neighborhoods during its meeting Sept. 25.

West Nile Virus case numbers reached their highest point this year since the virus first hit Texas in 2002, the Department of State Health Services said. In Williamson County, nine cases of the virus, including one fatality, have been reported to the Williamson County and Cities Health District.

City parks are sprayed for mosquitoes every week, but residential spraying was discontinued in 2009 because of equipment, population and financial considerations, City Manager Paul Brandenburg said.

The council voted not to do residential spraying this year but approved setting aside the $18,500 currently budgeted for spraying for next year, if needed. Council also instructed city staff to research what conditions should trigger city spraying in residential neighborhoods.

Social service funding approved

City Council approved more than $400,000 in youth program and social service funding on Sept. 25.

Council awards the funding from its operating budget annually to legally qualified nonprofit agencies. Programs including the Assistance League of Georgetown Area, Brookwood in Georgetown, Faith In Action Caregivers and The Caring Place were among 12 nonprofits to receive social service funding, while nine youth programs, including the Boys & Girls Club of Georgetown, Partners in Education and WC4C received funding.

Land rezoned for Georgetown Community Solar project

City Council approved Sept. 25 rezoning 51.82 acres of a 73.48-acre tract of land at the old city landfill site, 250 W.L. Walden Drive near the San Gabriel River, to a public facility district.

The new zoning will allow the site to be used by Georgetown Utility Systems with Community Solar to build a solar farm.

The company could use up to 18 acres to install about 2 megawatts of solar energy panels, according to city documents. Energy generated by the farm would be available for Georgetown utility customers to purchase in return for credit on their bills, Assistant City Manager Jim Briggs said.

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